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Interactive: Cambridge residents are £94 a month worse off than a year earlier, Centre for Cities research shows





Cambridge residents are on average £94 a month worse off than they were a year earlier, new figures show.

A cost of living tracker from Centre for Cities shows inflation in the city was 9.6 per cent in December 2022. It had risen 4.5 percentage points since the start of 2022.

But nominal wages rose by only 0.6 per cent in Cambridge between January and October last year.

Gas prices have shot up dramatically
Gas prices have shot up dramatically

The figures means city residents were on average £94 a month poorer on average in October 2022 compared to the previous year.

And each person was spending £13.58 more on petrol, £12.36 more on groceries and £48.20 more on energy in the final quarter of the year than the first.

Scroll down the interactive graphic for details

But Centre for Cities - a think focused improving the economies of the UK's largest cities and towns - says its analysis shows Cambridge is faring the best, along with London, of the 63 cities it analysed.

Its report says: “Inflation is higher in the UK’s poorest cities. Households in Burnley, Blackburn and Blackpool will likely see higher inflation compared to those in southern cities like London, Reading and Cambridge.”

In Burnley, for example, inflation was 12.2 per cent in December, up 6.1 per cent since the start of the year, and nominal wages rose only 0.3 per cent between January and October. This left Burnley residents on average £134 poorer in October than at the beginning of 2022.

Centre for Cities, which used data on spending patterns to calculate city-by-city inflation, says energy and petrol consumption account for most of the difference in places, and these are influenced by the nature and quality of housing stock, vehicle usage and spending on petrol, and income levels.

The think tank, which called for targeted support for the hardest-hit areas, noted that wages are a key part of the equation.

“In real terms, wage growth has failed to keep pace with inflation in all 63 cities over the past year, but the cities that have low nominal wage growth and high inflation rates experienced a particularly severe downturn. These places are typically located in the North,” it said.

In a comparison of cities, Cambridge also fares better than Oxford, where year-on-year inflation in December 2022 was 10.3 per cent, and the mean real wage growth - comparing nominal wage growth to inflation - was -7 pe cent, compared to -2.6 per cent in Cambridge.

Scroll down the interactive graphic for details

However, this will be cold comfort to Cambridge residents, with current freezing temperatures driving up their spending on heating.

Households will also face significantly increased council tax bills from April, with Cambridgeshire County Council due to impose a maximum 4.99 per cent tax rise, which will £73 to an annual Band D bill, and a new mayoral precept just agreed by the Combined Authority, which will add another £12 for Band D households, plus rises expected from the city council, police and fire service.



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